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Motor Bike Lane Filtering

Motor bike lane filtering will be legalised in South Australia from 15 April 2017. Lane filtering is when a motor bike rider travels at low speed in between two lines of stationary or slow moving traffic travelling in the same direction.

Strict conditions apply to lane filtering:

  • only permitted at speeds of 30km/h or slower
  • only permitted when safe to do so
  • not permitted in a school zone or across pedestrian and children's crossings
  • not permitted next to parked cars or between vehicles and the kerb, or on roundabouts
  • not permitted in bicycle, bus or tram lanes
  • only permitted by R and R-Date licenced motor bike riders. Persons with a P1 Provisional or Learner’s permit and moped riders with a car licence only must not lane filter

The penalty for unlawful lane filtering is a $363 expiation fee and 3 demerit points.

Quick facts about motor bike lane filtering laws in South Australia.

What is lane filtering?

Lane filtering is when a motor bike rider travels at low speed in between two lines of stationary or slow moving traffic travelling in the same direction.

Why allow lane filtering?

South Australia is aligning our laws with similar laws interstate. Lane filtering is currently allowed in NSW, Victoria, and Queensland, and is being trialled in the ACT.

If you intend to travel interstate you should check the relevant state’s laws about lane filtering, as conditions may vary.

Lane filtering may improve safety for motorbike riders as they have greater control over their exposure to traffic, particularly vehicles following behind. Moving in between two lanes of stationary or slow moving traffic may reduce a motor bike rider’s risk of being hit from behind by an inattentive driver.

Who is allowed to lane filter?

From 15 April 2017, motor bike riders in South Australia with an R or R-Date licence class (who are not required to display an L or P plate) may lane filter between stationary or slow moving traffic travelling in the same direction, provided they do not exceed 30km/h and it is safe to do so. This means that it must be done with due care and regard to all other road users.

What about interstate riders visiting South Australia?

Riders who are required to display an “L” or “P” plate on their motor bike as a condition of their interstate licence are not allowed to lane filter in South Australia.

What conditions apply to lane filtering in South Australia?

Riders must not lane filter:

  • at a speed greater than 30km/h
  • if it is not safe to do so
  • in a school zone or across pedestrian and children's crossings
  • in special purpose lanes (such as bike lanes and bus lanes)
  • in bike boxes
  • not permitted next to parked cars or between vehicles and the kerb, or on roundabouts

What is the penalty for unlawful lane filtering?

Motor bike riders must abide by the conditions that apply to lane filtering or they risk receiving a fine of $363 and 3 demerit points.

Police can also charge riders with a number of road traffic offences if lane filtering is done in negligent or dangerous manner.

Can moped/scooter riders lane filter?

Moped and scooter riders are not allowed to lane filter unless unless they have a motor bike licence class endorsement (R or R-Date).  This is because they may not have the riding skills attained by a person who has passed the Advanced Rider Safe training course to obtain their motor bike licence class.

* A moped is a motor bike (other than a power-assisted bicycle) with an internal combustion engine capacity not exceeding 50 millilitres; or a motor other than an internal combustion engine, and is capable of a speed not exceeding 50 kilometres per hour.

Why aren’t L & P plate riders allowed to lane filter?

Learner riders have only completed the Basic Rider Safe training course and may not have the riding skills attained by a person who has passed the Advanced Rider Safe training course required to obtain a R endorsement.

P1 licence holders are inexperienced road users who may still be developing their hazard perception skills.

More Information

The Lane Filtering in South Australia video has been created to provide information on how to lane filter in South Australia.

The Rider’s Safety Handbook contains important information on road rules for motor bike riders.

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